Encyclopedia Page R

Raffles ♦ Claude Rains ♦ The Rains Came ♦ Jasse Ralph ♦
Marjorie Rambeau ♦ Basil Rathbone ♦ Raw Meat ♦
Martha Raye ♦ Gene Raymond ♦
Return From Limbo ♦ RKO ♦ Edward G. Robinson ♦
Ginger Rogers ♦ Maxie Rosenbloom ♦ Arnold Rothstein ♦
Rosalind Rusell

Lobby Card
Lobby Card

Raffles. Samuel Goldwyn, 1930. Released through United Artists. Directed by Harry D’Arrast & George Fitzmaurice. Based on the novel The Amateur Craftsman by Ernest William Hornung. Ronald Colman plays the chic London jewel thief with Kay playing his charming girlfriend. Goldwyn wanted the picture to be more of a love story than one of crime and criminals. Bette Davis tested for the role and was rejected. The movie was one of the most successful films of the year. F. Scott Fitzgerald helped work on the screenplay but was not credited in the film.

The property had been filmed in 1905, 1910, 1914, 1917, 1920, 1932, 1939, and 1960, but this 1930 version is widely recognized as the best film adaptation. Other actors who played Raffles include John Barrymore and David Niven in 1920 and 1939, respectively.

Kay and Ronald Colman had an affair during filming, and rumors spread they would marry.

Raffles page.

Notice Rains on the box?
Notice Rains on the box?

Rains, Claude. Extremely popular British character actor who hit his peak at Warner Bros. in the 1930s and 40s. His role opposite Kay in 1937’s Stolen Holiday marked the first of 10 films he would make with director Michael Curtiz. Being shorter than Kay, he was forced to stand on a box during their scenes together. One of his best films made before his Warner years includes 1933’s Invisible Man. His movies with Bette Davis were especially well made.

Wikipedia page.

Rains Came, The. 1939 Twentieth Century-Fox film adaptation of the Louis Bromfield novel. Kay was a top contender for the leading part that eventually went to Myrna Loy. (Unfortunate because it would have been a perfect role for Kay.)

Ralph, Jessie. Character actress who play’s Kay’s mom in I Found Stella Parish.

Wikipedia page.

Rambeau, Marjorie. Famous actress of the stage and screen. Appeared in First Lady in a small role.

Wikipedia page.

confession0910 Rathbone, Basil. British actor perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. Rathbone played the Italian musician who sexy-vamp Kay seduces in 1930’s A Notorious Affair. In 1937’s Confession he again played a musician, but this time as a sleazy composer who rapes Kay, who kills him afterwards. Kay frequently socialized with Rathbone and his wife. It was at one of their parties where she met Greta Garbo, one of her personal favorites.

Master of Stage & Screen site. Wikipedia page.

Raw Meat. The original title of 1933’s I Loved a Woman.

Raye, Martha. Worked with Kay on USO tours and, as a result, had a featured role in Four Jills in a Jeep.

Wikipedia info.

Raymond, Gene. Off screen husband of Jeanette MacDonald. Play’s Kay’s husband in 1933’s The House on 56th Street.

Return from Limbo. The story upon which Women Are Like That was based.

RKO. Studio where the first true “Kay Francis film” was made: 1931’s Transgression. Kay would appear in several more films for the studio after her employment with Warner Bros.

iloved080812Robinson, Edward G. Kay’s leading man in 1933’s I Loved a Woman. Being shorter than Kay, Robinson had to stand on a box in their love scenes. He later spoke very highly of her talent in his autobiography,  All My Yesterdays.

Wikipedia page.

Rogers, Ginger. Popular movie star best known for her dancing opposite Fred Astaire. When she held a roller skating party she bragged to reporters it was one of the best Hollywood parties ever thrown. Kay contrasted Rogers’ claims by noting in her diary of how boring it was.

Rosenbloom, Maxie. One of the most popular boxers of his generation. He was also one of the first men who were active in sports to transition to Hollywood films when his boxing career began to dwindle. He had a good part opposite Kay in 1939’s Women in the Wind, her last film under contract to Warner Bros.

Boxing records. Wikipedia page.

Rothstein, Arnold. Real life crime boss who the character William Powell played in Street of Chance was based.

Russell, Don Ameche, and Kay.
Russell, Don Ameche, and Kay.

Russell, Rosalind. One of the most popular female movie actresses of the time when Kay appeared opposite her in The Feminine Touch. Russell liked Kay, and remembered her insightfulness about Russell’s position in Hollywood (and in life):

One night at Jack Warner’s…a bunch of us where in the powder room—which was a whole suite—and I heard Kay Francis say, “No, Roz is in Hollywood, but she’s not part of it.” I said, “What the hell does that mean?” “It means you work here,” she said, “but you’re not part of Hollywood, and you never will be.” …I came to realize [Kay] was right. I never wanted the kind of life in which you dedicated your whole being to acting, and preparing for acting and meeting only the people who could advance your acting career. I wanted a home, a husband, children, a variety of experience. I wasn’t willing to pay the price of superstardom, and my unwillingness made me very cautious.

 Wikipedia page.

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